Month: June 2006

High Spirits

High Spirits

As the academic year ends, it presents students with an ideal opportunity to pursue extra-curricular activities and explore new genres in life, which help them to develop some of their dormant faculties. One of the many ways to do that is to enrol with an adventure camp.

Adventure Therapy

  Skiing is perhaps the most far-flung adventure sport for urban populace. No wonder it was the centre of attraction at the Himalayan summer camps organised by a city based student welfare group, Jidnyasa Trust. This is the 12th consecutive year that the trust has organised Himalayan adventure camps jointly with Directorate of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, Himachal Pradesh. A total of 64 students awaiting their Std X board results participated, of which 37 were girls and 27 were boys. They spent a week in the tents laid at the height of around 12,000 feet. These participants were imparted training in elementary techniques of skiing, like ski exercises, sliding on skis, straight running, side slip, snow plough and turn, fall and recovery while facing the snow storms and bad weather. From a total of four camps, two of them were for skiing and the other two for adventure. In the latter, 58 students participated, of which 28 were girls and 30 were boys. All were in the age group of 12 to 13 years. In the 14-day course, they went through rigorous training of rock climbing and artificial, wall climbing, rappelling, and river crossing in the ice cold thundering beas. All this was done under the watchful eyes of experts. The children were elated at seeing snow all around them while climbing up to Patalsu and Bakhartaj, situated at the dizzying heights of 13,000 feet. One of the most exciting moments for the students was when they had the grand coincidence of meeting the Thane Municipal Commissioner Sanjay Sethi at Solang Nallha. Commissioner Sethi minced no words in praising these participants and gave them a much-deserved pat on their back for their adventurous streak. Sumita Dighe, trustee of Jidnyasa, is a trained mountaineer herself and was the chief coordinator of the adventure course. Chitra Oke, Anjali Hardikar, Vishwas Korde, Vijay Kher, Arun Mulye were the other coordinators. The element of unwinding and fun aside, not many are aware that adventure can be therapeutic too. In fact, adventure therapy is one of the more hands-on psychological approaches that are used in treating mental and emotional disorders. For adolescents with emotional, behavioural, and substance abuse disorders, adventure therapy often proves to be an effective choice of psychotherapy. The real or perceived risk associated with adventure sports provides all its participants a sense of self-worth that goes a long way in helping them restore their psychological well being. As the participants of the summer camps returned after the 14-day courses, they were totally exhausted physically but their spirits are rejuvenated, raring to take on their next academic year.